Today was Weazer’s birthday so when she said “let’s go to the beach” there was no way I could decline. I’ve been avoiding going back down to the Jersey shore except to work on the beach house. I’ve seen the devastation on TV and online. I knew it would be worse to see it live.
Yes it was bad. Ortley Beach was still in a state of emergency. Most of the roads east of Central Ave were still closed. Many houses still off their foundations, damaged or completely missing. Where work had started, many homes were just piles of rubble, the owners opting to demo and rebuild, vs repair.
The Seaside Heights boardwalk is completely gone. It was very, very hard to look at that, and know that it will be a long time before I an do another weekend morning run on the boards while all the game & food stands prep for the day.
But there were signs of life. The Beachcomber Bar & Restaurant was open and pretty active with lunchers and folks getting ready for football playoff games. The extension of the restaurant over the water is still closed though.
We also got to play skee-ball at Lucky Leo’s Arcade. We had to enter from the street as the boardwalk entrances are all closed and inaccessible. But the arcade was very busy for a January day. They were serving free coffee & cookies
, and a waitress was carrying around trays of fried snacks for folks to nibble as they played.
When we got back to the car, the Seaside Park police were very busy writing parking tickets, so there is some continuity on that front. Weazer timed our trip almost perfectly. We had 2 minutes left on our meter.
Next we drove down to Lavalette where we could get out to where the boardwalk WAS and look up and down the beach at the damage. Almost every beachfront house had severe damage. In Seaside park this was NOT the case because of the extensive dunes built up in front of the homes in the Park.